Smooth driving in the pick-up line

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Changes made due to COVID-19 made Southwest use gravel drive

Because of COVID-19, the Southwest school district, like all other schools, had to make some changes.

One of those changes was the use of the old gravel drive behind the elementary building as the new pick-up line for middle school and elementary students.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent, said due to COVID-19, the school doesn’t allow visitors or parents into the building for pick-up as they had done for so many years before.

“It totally changes the system we had before,” she said. “So, the alley between the playground and elementary building that extends all the way down to the high school started being used.”

The plans were implemented at the start of school, and the new system proved to work well for the district and the parents.

“We didn’t know if it would work at the start, but we had to do something,” she said. “The parents pull in at the high school drive and turn left once at the parking lot, then they turn left again at the alley and make two lines of cars."

Tilford said the only glitch in the system was the condition of the gravel alley.

“The project to pave the alley needed to be done,” she said. “And, due to it being COVID-19-related, we were able to use county CARES money to do it.”

There is no question that the new use and necessity of the alley is solely a consequence of COVID-19 related restrictions.

“We were concerned that with the new use of the alley we would deal with issues with washing out, and we were concerned about the winter months,” Tilford said. “We wanted to do this, but we didn’t have the funds. The idea was very well-received when asking for the funds.”

As of now, the district has asked for $179,565.51 in reimbursements from the CARES Act money, and the county has reimbursed $4,644 so far.

“How it works is we build a proposal for the county on why and what funds we would need and they approve it or not,” she said. “The alley itself cost $40,000 and is included in that $179,565.51.

“We turn in invoices after the project is completed, and we turn in monthly reports. On the proposals, we put prices based on bids if we have them, otherwise we do our best estimate, then turn in the proper invoices once we have them.”

Another project that the district will be looking into with the rest of the $179,565.51 includes paving the parking lot to the west of the middle school gym.

“This will help with access to the WiFi points we have had added to for exterior use,” she said.

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